Tooth decay is usually caused by bacteria that are formed around teeth and gums as a sticky substance known as plaque. If you do not observe proper oral hygiene, the bacteria will produce an acid which can cause serious dental problems. Though the commonest way to prevent tooth decay is brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing daily to remove accumulated plaque, you need to visit your dentist regularly to examine your dental health and cleaning of your teeth.
You may have heard of fluoride treatment which is used by a dentist to help you have a good oral health. This is the use of a mineral substance to prevent and repair tooth decay when the condition is still in its early stage. Fluoride treatment can either be done at home and in your dentist office by applying fluoride to the tooth enamel in form of toothpaste, industrial mouth rinses, and treatment or to be swallowed in form of fluoridated water and supplements.
Actually, this type of dental treatment is not new and it is very effective. However, “what can a fluoride treatment do for my teeth” could be the question behind your mind and you’ll definitely want to ask your dentist. Invariably, fluoride treatment can do a lot of positive changes to your dental health, particularly in preventing and reducing caries. The method of treatment may vary in each patient which depends on the level of vulnerability. Before going into the benefits of fluoride treatments, there are many things you need to know about this natural mineral.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in some foods, water, wine, black tea or coffee. This mineral will neutralize the acid produced by the bacteria present around your teeth and gums. However, the quantities of fluoride in foods and beverages are not sufficient enough to provide needed preventions and treatments for tooth decay, but there are professionally-made fluoride solutions for dental therapy. Depending on the risk of tooth decay or its causes, your dentist will prescribe the best type of fluoride treatment. There are two types of fluoride treatments available to suit every patient’s dental problem.
1. Topical Fluoride
This form of fluoride therapy is prescribed to a patient as a home remedy. It involves using fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinses every day to prevent and treat tooth decay. Your dentist can as well carry out topical fluoride treatment in the office which would involve applying the mineral directly to the tooth enamel.
2. Systemic Fluoride
This is the form of fluoride treatment that is intended to be swallowed as a liquid or tablets. The example of systemic fluoride includes fluoridated water and dietary supplements that you can take regularly to prevent or treat dental caries.
Whether you are placed on topical or systemic fluoride treatment – to reduce dental caries to a minimum level is the goal of the therapy but your dentist can as well prescribe a more professional fluoride treatment if it is detected that you have a very high risk of dental health.
Why You Need a Fluoride Therapy
Sometimes, the amount of fluoride in the body may not be enough to prevent the attack of acid-producing bacteria around the tooth enamel and gums. And because the level of fluoride in the body is not constant which means your body can absorb as well as lose a certain quantity in a day – you will be vulnerable to regular attacks from bacteria. However, there are many other reasons for your dentist to prescribe a fluoride treatment in order to strengthen your enamel against bacteria attack or bring the damaged enamel back to life. Some of the conditions that require immediate fluoride treatment include;
- Gum disease- This condition involves gum inflammation and can lead to gum recession.
- Repeated cavity problem- If you experience frequent cavities and some other dental issues, you’ll need a fluoride treatment prescribed by your dentist.
- Dry mouth- This can happen to anyone and is commonly caused by medications and serious health problems.
- Dental caries caused by habitual eating of snacks or taking too much of carbonated drinks or any other thing that contains excess sugar.
Benefits of Fluoride in Dental Treatment
Fluoride is a natural mineral known to restore a damaged surface of tooth enamel caused by acid-producing bacteria. It prevents dental cavities and stops the growth of bacteria that may be harmful to your dental health. The benefits of fluoride in dental treatment are enormous and your dentist will recommend the best type of the therapy that will suit your condition.
While fluoride does not have the ability to remove decay, It can be used to correct dental problems in both adults and children.
Fluoridated water will provide a topical solution by mixing with your saliva and helps to rebuild tooth enamel damaged by bacteria. Fluoride treatment comes in various forms – in gels, mouth rinses, supplements, or foam. Your dentist will determine the best treatment for you and the duration you’ll need to complete the therapy.